NA likely to consider bill for increase in women seats after Committee’s approval


ISLAMABAD: The government would move the bill seeking to allocate one female seat to Islamabad against reserved quota in National Assembly during the upcoming session after its approval by National Assembly (NA) Standing Committee on Law and Justice.

It is to mention that NA Standing Committee on Law and Justice has approved the government bill – the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (Amendment in Article 51) – seeking an increase in the number of seats reserved for women. This seat will be reserved for the federal capital and number of reserved seats for women would increase from 60 to 61.

The official sources in the Ministry of Law and Justice and National Assembly Secretariat said that this bill would appear on the agenda of National Assembly in the upcoming session for third reading.

The bill was introduced in NA on January 16, 2019 by the Parliamentary Secretary for Law and Justice Maleeka Ali Bukhari and was referred to Standing Committee on Law and Justice in the same sitting for further consideration.

The NA Body approved the bill on March 12, 2019 and its report would be presented in the House during the upcoming session following which its formal approval would be sought from the House, the sources maintained.

A two-third majority is required for the passage of a constitutional amendment bill in the House and the government will hopefully succeed in getting support for the bill from women and opposition legislators after having a discussion.

The present 15th National Assembly consists of 342 members – 272 general seats, 60 reserved for women and 10 for minorities. After the formal merger of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas into  Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the number of FATA seats in the National Assembly will be reduced and the total membership of the assembly will come down to 336 from 342.

As per draft of the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (Amendment in Article 51), the total strength of the assembly will be 337 with the addition of another reserved seat for women.